‘Country will soon come out of recession’

A date with the President: President Pratibha Patil interacting with participants of the 12th Know India Programme for Diaspora Youth at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: - Photo: Anu Pushkarna

Staff Reporter

President interacts with youngsters of Indian origin from a dozen countries

NEW DELHI: Interacting with a group of Indian diaspora youth, President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday asserted that the country will soon emerge out of the financial downturn and up its growth rate.

Talking to the group of 36 youngsters of Indian origin from nearly a dozen countries at Rashtrapati Bhavan here, Ms. Patil highlighted the progress made by the country on the socio-economic fronts, remarking that India had been affected by the global economic downturn but because of some policy interventions the effect had not been as severe as it has been in several countries.

The President said though the country’s growth rate did come down from 9 per cent to a little more than 6 per cent, it was expected that it would pick up next year.

She also pointed to the country’s ability to conduct general elections with an electorate as vast as 740 million.

Referring to the country’s diversity, the President said: “You (the youth) have visited Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh….. you must have noticed the difference in traditions, culture and landscape..… at the same time there is unity in diversity. India is multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural and we work all together to make India hold its head high.”

She said India was working towards creating an inclusive society where all sections and the marginalised are taken forward.

The visitors were part of the 12th Know India Programme for Diaspora Youth, an initiative of the Union Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

The three-week programme is aimed at providing diaspora youth an insight into different facets of life in India and the progress made by the country in various fields.

This year the participants came from countries like South Africa, Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji Islands, United Kingdom, Malaysia and Israel.

“It is a totally different environment that we got to see at the two places we travelled to. While Bangalore was busy, Himachal Pradesh was laid-back and its people warm and friendly. It was an enriching experience,” said Pathma Seelan Subramanium from Malaysia whose ancestors were from Tamil Nadu.